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Health

Thanksgiving tips for Diabetics

Most everyone loves Thanksgiving dinner, but it can be something of a challenge if you have diabetes. Here are a few quick Thanksgiving tips for diabetics.  You can try to just eliminate or severely limit the things you know contain sugar or lots of carbohydrates.  But that may leave you with a fairly empty plate when you sit down with everyone to dine.

Instead, here are a few tips for the diabetic which can both allow you to enjoy thanksgiving, and stay out of trouble…

First of all, try to limit your portions.  You do not get a prize for eating more than everyone else, and you could get yourself into trouble if you are not careful.  So “moderation” is important here.

Second, focus on the Turkey and anything else you are having which you know is high in protein and low in carbohydrate without added sugar.  Typically, this will be the big bird, but any other non-processed meat will do fine, as well.

Third, if you are going to have carbohydrates, stick with the more natural, complex ones like berries and sweet potatoes.  Avoid the store-bought pecan pie.

Fourth, there are some substitutions you can make which will help keep your sugar in check.  For instance:

  • Prepare whole-wheat, vegetable-filled stuffing instead of pre-prepared, store-bought stuffing
    • Go for the carrots, green beans, and real vegetables, instead of the mashed potatoes
    • Use an egg meringue topping instead of a marshmallow topping on your sweet potatoes, and keep the maple syrup or other sweetener to a minimum (or eliminate)
    • Use Cranberry compote with Stevia sweetener, instead of canned cranberry sauce

Fifth, exercise after you eat.  It is not necessary to go to the gym once you push away from the table, but a nice, long stroll afterwards can help keep you from getting a spike in your glucose.  Bring someone along, just in case.

Finally, there are several substitutions you can make for the traditional courses of a Thanksgiving dinner.  Below are links to a few:

https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g20495209/diabetes-friendly-thanksgiving-recipes

https://www.verywellhealth.com/healthy-thanksgiving-dinner-with-diabetes-1087477

Happy Thanksgiving and hope these Thanksgiving tips for diabetics help you and your loved ones to cherish the holiday season without worry.

Eat well, eat smart!

Dr Scott Jones Trusted ER Colleyville
Dr Scott Jones Trusted ER Colleyville

Scott J. Jones,
MD, ABEM

Categories
Health Wellness

The health benefits of Gratitude

Most of us are aware of the many factors which can impact our health, both in a positive and negative way.  From nutrition to exercise/fitness habits, to smoking and the use of alcohol, to our overall health maintenance and prevention.  However, perhaps one of the biggest impacts on our overall health is our mindset, what and how we think, and our overall attitude.  Gratitude, the “quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness” is not something most of us think can impact our health, but studies show our overall mindset and emotional wellbeing can play a huge role in a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

We all deal with stress and difficult situations daily and being thankful and appreciative for the challenges life presents us is not how most of us cope with such challenges.  Furthermore, when we are faced with a new medical diagnosis, be it diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or high blood pressure most of us do not view this diagnosis as something to be grateful or appreciative of.  However, our attitude and mindset can have an impact on how our bodies adjust and cope with such medical challenges.  

Anger, resentment, frustration, hostility, and blaming can have negative impacts on our overall health.  They can increase our blood pressure and heart rate, affect our sleep and quality of rest, and can also lead to stress and issues with our home life all of which can cause negative health consequences.  When we consistently focus our energies on the negative in life and have a negative attitude, ultimately it can impact our health and wellbeing.  When our hearts and minds are full of resentment and anger it has the potential to make our underlying diagnoses and disease management much more difficult, all of which can affect the long-term consequences.

Thus, it is imperative we are aware of how we think and view life and its challenges daily.  When we are hopeful, when we have a good attitude despite the pain and suffering life can deal us, and when we can avoid being resentful and blaming it can help our overall health in the long term.  Having such outlooks when faced with scary and unknown health issues is not an easy feat for any of us.  However, we need to try to focus on the positives and maintain a hopeful attitude during these times.  Having such outlooks can improve our overall sleep patterns and eating habits and help avoid depression and anxiety and their negative impacts.  Positive thinking impacts those around us including our families which can improve our support structures and home life all of which can ultimately have a positive effect on our management of chronic health issues.  If you are a religious or spiritual person, relying on our faith and leaning on our church family can improve our overall perspective and ultimately have positive health consequences.

So, it is important to be aware of how our attitudes and thoughts can impact our overall health. Trying to be grateful and gracious in the face of challenge and uncertainty will make us happier and more hopeful.  If we can focus on thinking positive and having a good attitude, it not only will it make our lives more palatable for ourselves and those around us, it could very well lead to overall improved health and disease management, all of which could lead to a longer, more fruitful life.  

I challenge each of you to find something positive every day and to find something daily to be grateful for.  It can be as small as being thankful you have food to eat or a home to live in.  It does not have to involve something monumental when focusing on our gratefulness.  But focusing on such positives will, in the end, lead to improved overall health and happiness.

Dr. Trisha Dippery Trusted Medical ER Uptown

Dr. Trisha Dipprey
Trusted ER Uptown
Medical Director

Categories
Health

How to avoid Thanksgiving indigestion

The house smells delicious and your family and friends are all gathered together at Grand Ma’s house for the annual Thanksgiving Feast! There is food galore! There’s turkey, gravy, desserts, and all the fixin’s from Aunt Jane and plenty of wine from Uncle Mike. Obviously, you are looking forward to a great day, but you are a bit apprehensive of what the night might bring? Recently, you have had a few episodes of heartburn and want to avoid getting it today. If you do get it, you want to be prepared with treatment options so you are not awake all night with chest pain.

Indigestion or “heart burn” is pain caused by stomach acid flowing back and up into the esophagus. The formal medical name is GERD or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.

What is GERD?

When you swallow, the muscles at the bottom of your esophagus relax allowing the passage of food and liquids into the stomach. This group of muscles in called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. If the LES relaxes abnormally or is weakened, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus causing a burning pain, i.e. heart burn.

What things can increase your risk of getting indigestion?

Smoking, eating large meals, eating late at night, fatty foods, fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, and coffee can all make the LES not function properly and increase your risk of experiencing heartburn. Eating smaller portions and waiting 4 or more hours before going to bed after a meal is easy to do. Not smoking or drinking are choices that you can make as well. Knowing the risk factors helps you make an informed decision as to what foods or activities you want to enjoy even if heartburn later is a risk.

What if I experience Heartburn? What can I do to decrease the symptoms?

Antacids like Tums or Mylanta help neutralize the stomach acid. Over the counter medications that block histamine receptors (Pepcid) or block the protein pump (Prilosec); both decrease the stomach’s production of gastric acid. If you have symptoms when you lie down, elevating the head of your bed 6 inches can help as well.

Armed with this information you decide to skip Uncle Mikes wine and the after-dinner cigar. By eating small amounts of your favorite Thanksgiving foods, while also avoiding the fried pie dessert, you are now able to enjoy the post meal football games without the discomfort of indigestion. However just to be safe, it’s wise take some Mylanta before bed and enjoy a peaceful, pain free Thanksgiving night slumber!!

Categories
Health

Cold, Flu, or COVID-19? Here’s how you can tell the difference.

We’ve all been there: with every cough and sneeze, you wonder: Is this allergies, a cold, or is it the coronavirus? In this article, our medical experts break down the differences so you can tell the difference between the common cold and the novel coronavirus.

Although both share some of the same symptoms and are related since they are both from the same family of Viruses, they are different in other symptoms and in how sick people can become. COVID-19 is a virus that we have not seen in the past, which is why it is called Novel(new).

Differentiate between Common Cold and Coronavirus - Trusted Medical

The common cold is caused by roughly 4 different strains from the same family of Viruses. These cause mild symptoms, which tend to be more upper respiratory in nature and typically occur in the fall or in the winter months. Typical cold symptoms are runny or stuffy nose, mild cough, mild fatigue, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat, aches and pains, and low-grade fever if any. Most people with cold have symptoms that last less than 7 days. These tend to be very mild symptoms and people who have the typical seasonal cold do not become very ill. There currently is no cure for the common cold beyond the treating of symptoms. There is also no established vaccine.

Coronavirus COVID-19 vs Common Cold - Trusted Medical

Coronavirus (COVID 19) can infect people and up to 40-50% of them may not have any symptoms at all. This means although they do not get sick, they can transmit the virus to other people as it is highly contagious. Symptoms may also appear from 2 days after exposure up to 14 days after exposure. Coronavirus may affect more than just the respiratory tract which is typically what is seen with the common cold. Coronavirus can also affect other organ systems in your body, that is why some of these symptoms are different. Coronavirus symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat, aches and pains, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and headache however not all of these symptoms may manifest. If sick with Coronavirus symptoms can last up to 10-14 days. About 80% of people who have symptoms have a milder experience while 20% may get very sick. People with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, a compromised immune system, and diabetes seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. There is currently no treatment for COVID-19 when patients have mild or moderate symptoms but there are different treatment modalities that patients who get admitted to a Hospital may receive. Currently, there are multiple vaccines in development and should be available by the end of this year and the beginning of next year.

No matter your current state of health, everyone should take every precaution to prevent personal infection and possible transmission to others. Regular use of face masks and alcohol-based sanitizer of 60% or higher are both greats common practices. Social distancing when possible can also greatly diminish the risk of exposure. If you or a loved one is concerned about possible exposer, we recommend receiving a test as soon as possible. You can get a test at one of our Trusted ER locations or our Trusted Medical COVID-19 testing center. We highly encourage people to stay safe as we navigate this uncertain time together.

Have you faced this confusion? Share this article so people know how to differentiate: Common Cold vs Coronavirus?

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Health

Staying Healthy While Traveling During the Holidays

Staying Healthy While Traveling During the Holidays can be a demanding task during these unseen times. You have to worry about multiple things. Is your house thoroughly cleaned now?  Have you checked off all the home maintenance items you have been putting off for so long?  Is your yard the nicest one in the neighborhood?  After you changed out the flowerbed three times?  We have been under pandemic conditions for going on 9 months now.  The good news-I closed out a lot of projects I had been meaning to do.  The bad news-less travel and missing family and friends.  I’ll bet you are ready to get out of the house for the Holidays.  Are you missing your family or friends?  Or perhaps you have finished reading all those books that have been on your “to-do” list.  Well, if you just cannot stay home any longer and have decided to travel for the Holidays, there are just a few things you need to remember to have an enjoyable trip and return home ready to get back to your routine, whether it’s working from home or heading to the office.  Let’s talk about how you can stay healthy while traveling this Holiday season.  Some simple measures to ensure you and your loved ones make it home safely are to protect you and your loved ones from communicable illnesses, practicing healthy habits, and following measures to keep you safe and prevent injury.

Staying safe during holidays as we brace the pandemic and helping you enjoy your holidays

As you plan to leave the comforts and safety of your home let’s not forget all we have learned over the past nine months.  We have changed habits, lifestyles, our way of living.  We have guarded our home, family, and the pet cat from COVID-19.  Now it’s time to head out across town, through the state, or around the World.  Not everyone has acquired those same habits.  Some even doubt the presence of the COVID-19.  As an emergency physician I can tell you COVID-19 is real.  I have cared for numerous patients with the virus and at various stages of severity.  Sadly, many will not be celebrating the Holidays with us.  But COVID is not our only concern as we travel.  It’s now flu season, too.  You can also get Strep throat, bronchiolitis, or other viruses while traveling.  So, perhaps if we practice the same, and simple techniques we employed over the past 9 months, we may not even see the surge of illness we normally experience.  My first recommendation should you hop in the Enterprise and explore the universe is to get your “flu shot”.  “My employer is not giving it out yet” I have heard from many people.  Did you know you can go to your local pharmacy and have your insurance (if you have it) cover it?  Often this is no cost to you at all.  If you do not have insurance that covers the flu vaccine it is usually about $40 or less.  That is certainly worth not missing work or cancelling your vacation.  How many face masks do you have?  If you can wash them, great.  You don’t want to keep wearing the same mask every day, or even for a full day, without changing or washing.  So, bring several along.  Do you have plenty of alcohol-based hand sanitizer?  Sanitizing wipes?  When you stop in public restrooms you may, or may not have plenty of soap, clean water, or towels.  When traveling, the first way to stay healthy is to take care of yourself.  Protecting yourself and the people around you keep you from spreading any illness you may have acquired without knowing, and from bringing unwanted visitors home with you that you picked up along your route.  So, cover your face and wash your hand!

Keeping your family safe during the holidays as we go through the pandemic and helping you enjoy your holidays

In order to stay healthy, especially when traveling, it is important that our bodies (and our immune systems) have the strength to protect us and to fight off any invaders.  We keep our immune system healthy and strong by getting plenty of rest.  This may sometimes be difficult when traveling.  We get so excited to see our family and friends that we neglect our sleep.  Are you traveling across Time Zones?  We may not be accustomed to sleeping at different hours than we are used to.   Regular wake time has been shown to be more beneficial than a regular sleep time but getting on a routine is the best practice for a healthy sleep pattern.  If you find yourself sleepy during the day take a little nap.  Drinking plenty of water on the road can also have numerous benefits.  Water helps our circulatory system, which helps us deliver antibodies and other immune mediators throughout our bodies.  Have you had a urinary tract (bladder) infection?  Not something fun to get while traveling.  Staying well hydrated may help prevent you from getting this uncomfortable condition.  Eat healthy while you are on the road, too.  It’s too easy to snack even when we are not hungry.  Stopping at fast food restaurants will not only break the bank but could break the scales when we get home.  This few steps will help you in staying healthy while traveling during the holidays.

Keeping your mental stability and fitness during the holidays as we go through the pandemic and Staying Healthy While Traveling During the Holidays

Schedule time to stop and exercise along your route.  Whether you are on a long car drive, or airplane or traveling to the moon stop and stretch those legs. Have you heard of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?  These are blood clots you can get in your leg veins.  Improving the blood flow can help prevent those blood clots from forming in your legs.  Frequent breaks, walking, and stretching can go a long way to preventing these from developing.  Did we mention hydration?  To stay healthy while traveling remember rest, hydration, healthy eating, exercise, and avoiding stress to keep that immune system vigorous.

Is there anything we can do that does not involve risk?  The World can be a dangerous place.  What we do to protect ourselves when we are in our community can also protect ourselves while traveling.  When we are in unfamiliar places, we can easily get distracted.  Therefore, be aware of your surroundings.  Is this a safe place to be?  Is this a safe time to be wandering about?    Are people around me aware of their surroundings or acting carelessly?  If you are walking on the sidewalk, are you prepared to avoid cars or people?  Is there a safe place to escape?  If you are in a car, are we wearing our seat belts?  Do we have GPS?  We can help the driver by being aware of what is going on around us, and not distracting the driver.   Did you bring a First Aid kit?  This can be quite helpful by having a few band-aids, antibiotic ointment, and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for discomfort.  Most people are not without a phone or a connection.  Do you know where the nearest hospital, emergency department, or urgent care is?  If you do not, then look up the Smart Phone App called “findERnow”? In case you are located in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, our Trusted ER locations are open 24/7/365 for your assistance. Install this before you go, and it will be one less item to cause you to stress at that moment when you have an emergency in unfamiliar territory.  Planning and preparation do save lives.  When you are traveling, be aware, be safe, and have a back-up plan in case something unplanned happens.

Keeping your family happy during the holidays as we go through the pandemic and Staying Healthy While Traveling During the Holidays

There is so much that we can write about how to stay healthy while traveling, but I believe we have covered and summarized some of the most salient points:  Keep you and your family healthy first, protect your immune system by practicing healthy habits, be prepared in case you find yourself in a bad situation or an accident occurs.  What are the odds something unfortunate will happen to you while traveling?  I am not a fortune teller but I focus on staying healthy while traveling during the holidays as we battle this pandemic.  I am a physician that practices emergency medicine and have cared for many people that have had their vacations interrupted.  Some have been able to continue with their travel plans, others have been forced to cancel, and some-the last vacation they ever took.  Therefore, do not take chances.  It is a dangerous world out there, for many reasons.  Let’s take care of ourselves and look out for each other so we can enjoy this holiday season and the many more to come.

Dr. Jeryy Allison Trusted Medical
Jeryy A. Allison, MD

Categories
Health Medical Advice

Why You May Need a CT Scan After a Head Injury

Why You May Need a CT Scan After a Head Injury

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Head injuries are no laughing matter. These injuries to the scalp, skull, and/or brain are caused by some form of trauma — like a car accident, a sports accident, or a fall — and can be quite serious. The most common type of sports-related brain injury is a concussion. An estimated 1.6-3.8 million concussions occur from playing sports each year.

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It occurs when the brain is shaken hard enough to bounce against the hard shell of the skull. It can happen when two people collide, as in football, when you’re hit with a piece of equipment such as a baseball bat, or in normal play such as when you “head” the ball in soccer.

Concussions, which account for about 75% of TBIs, alter a person’s mental status and can interrupt the brain’s normal functioning. While most resolve on their own, multiple concussions can have a cumulative effect, making each worse than the one before.

Trusted ER, a 24-hour concierge-style emergency room practice with locations in Dallas, Coppell, Hurst, Irving, and Sherman, Texas, is no stranger to head injuries. Each center is fully equipped with a radiology department that can perform X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds to aid in diagnosis and treatment of injuries, including TBIs.

What is a CT scan?

CT or CAT scan is more formally known as computed tomography. It’s a type of diagnostic medical imaging test. While traditional X-rays only show bone and some gross structures, a CT scan is more sensitive and can produce multiple, cross-sectional images of body structures. The images are taken as you lie on a table and the tech moves you in and out of a space in the center of the large device. Having a CT scan is completely painless.

One advantage of a CT’s images is that they’re reformatted in multiple planes and compiled into three-dimensional images. These images are easily viewed on a computer screen. They can be printed on film or by a 3D printer; and they can be transferred to a CD or DVD so you can show the images to your primary doctor or any specialist you need to see at a later time.

Why should you get a CT scan after a head injury?

If you’ve had a head injury, it’s important that the doctor can see if you have any internal injuries, skull fractures, or brain bleeds that might require immediate attention. CT images can show bones, internal organs, soft tissues, and blood vessels in much greater detail than regular X-rays, particularly for soft tissues and blood vessels.

While not as sensitive — or as costly — as a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI), a CT scan is usually the best test to have first if the doctor suspects you have a skull fracture or a brain bleed. It’s an extremely common test after a car accident, since you might not feel symptoms from the injury right away.

Possible symptoms of a skull fracture or brain bleed include:

  • Weakness on either side of your body
  • Trouble speaking, swallowing, or hearing
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Fluid or blood coming from an ear or the nose

Not all head injuries require a CT scan. If your doctor thinks you have a mild concussion, for example, a CT scan probably won’t show anything out of the ordinary.

When should you see a doctor?

If you’ve had a car accident, a fall, or any other type of injury where you may have injured your head, you should definitely see a doctor, as your symptoms may not show up immediately. Only a medical professional can determine the extent of your injury and whether a CT scan is warranted.

Trusted ER is open 24 hours a day and welcomes anyone who needs help. Call any of our six locations, contact us via our online form, or if you’ve had an accident, just come in.